November 24, 2020, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Commerce, National Development and Reform Commission, and General Administration of Customs jointly issued the Announcement on Matters concerning the Total Ban on Solid Waste Import (the “Announcement”). The Announcement was made for thorough enforcement of the revised provisions of the Solid Waste Environmental Pollution Control Law (enforced on September 1, 2020) on solid waste import. The Announcement takes effect on January 1, 2021. Here are its key points:
- Solid waste may not be imported by any means. Foreign solid waste may not be brought into China to be dumped, stacked or treated in any manner.
- The Ministry of Ecology and Environment has ceased receiving applications for the Import License for Import-restricted Solid Waste That Can Be Used as Raw Materials (the “License”). Issued Licenses for 2020 will remain valid until the expiration date in 2020 that is stated on them. These Licenses will be automatically revoked on that date.
- Solid waste that has been generated by entities in special customs supervision zones and supervised bonded areas and that has not been re-exported is managed in accordance with the provisions on domestic solid waste. When such solid waste needs transporting out of the special customs supervision zone or supervised bonded area to be stored, used or treated in any manner, necessary procedures with the relevant departments of the customs at the place must be completed.
- Solid waste that has been generated by entities performing maintenance services or remanufacturing under bond outside special customs supervision zones and supervised bonded areas and that has not been re-exported is managed in accordance with the provisions in paragraph 3 above.
The Announcement of Strengthening the Import Management and Law Enforcement Information Sharing Mechanism of Solid Waste (Huanban  No. 141) issued by the former Ministry of Environmental Protection; Announcements No. 69 of 2015 and No. 39 of 2017 issued by the former General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine; and Announcements No. 6 of 2018 and No. 68 of 2018 issued by the General Administration of Customs will be abolished upon the entry into force of the latest Announcement.
The full text of the Announcement is available at
(in simplified Chinese).